Monday, July 15, 2013

"Fly Away" by Peter Allen

Song#:  0453
Date:  01/10/1981
Debut:  88
Peak:  55
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Welcome to 1981!!

Pop Bits:  This Australian entertainer never gained much attention here in the US as a recording artist. Even though he consistently released solo albums from 1971 through to 1990, his only chart single was this song from his album "Bi-Coastal." However, as a songwriter he had several major hits like "I Honestly Love You" by Olivia Newton-John and "Don't Cry Out Loud" by Melissa Manchester. Allen also won an Academy Award as co-writer of the winning song "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" sung by Christopher Cross. Despite the lack of solo hits, Allen was a very popular cabaret-style performer and would often have sold-out shows here in the States, including at Radio City Music Hall. Brought to the States by Judy Garland's husband Mark Herron, Allen would eventually marry Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli in 1967. They split in 1974 and soon after Allen would come out as gay. His partner of 15 years would die in 1984 from an AIDS-related illness. Allen himself would also pass away of throat cancer, related to AIDS, in 1992.

ReduxReview:  This song was co-written by David Foster and Carol Bayer Sager, and produced by Foster. And it does reek of them. West-coast poppy, slick, adult contemporary and all done very well. However, the actual song this time around is just not very strong. Foster and Bayer Sager have both written great songs, but this is not one of their best efforts - even when combining forces. And although Allen sounds good, this slick pop style doesn't really suit him and I think his personality gets lost in the production.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Allen's life was celebrated in a documentary film called "The Boy from Oz." This was then turned into a stage musical using Allen's songs. Eventually, the show made it to Broadway in 2003 with Hugh Jackman portraying Allen. Jackman would win a Tony award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance.


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